The Supreme Court in the UK, the highest court in the country, last week ruled on a restrictive covenant case for the first time in 100 years [Tillman v Egon Zehnder Ltd  UKSC 32 (3 July 2019)]. It has clarified important points on interpretation, the key takeaway being it will now be easier for employers to enforce covenants against departing employees.
Covenants Must Be Necessary to Protect Employer’s Interests
It has long been established in the UK, that restrictive covenants are an unlawful restraint of trade unless they go no further than is necessary to protect the employer’s legitimate proprietary interests. The Supreme Court recognized as such in quoting the colorful language of a court decision from the 15th century criticizing a plaintiff employer looking to enforce a covenant: